Seven years ago yesterday, Shawna and I were married and this wild ride we call the Lucas Adventures began. We threw out the conventional playbook pretty much right away: we dated for barely seven months before I proposed, and we were only engaged six months before we got married. At the time I was living in a cozy but small one-bedroom apartment and Shawna was rooming in someone’s basement, so we also decided to buy a house together in the middle of our wedding preparations. That was a hectic first six months… and it hasn’t really stopped.
Our first seven years have featured three births, one lost pregnancy and one international adoption, a two-month sojourn in South Africa, two houses, and a major career change. And that’s just the big stuff.
To tell the truth, Shawna’s the catalyst in most of our adventures. She’s both a dreamer and a planner—she’ll say “What if…?” and then she’ll figure out just how to make it happen. In 2008 she convinced me it would be a good idea to buy a second house and rent out the one we were living in at the time. At first the idea of being responsible for two properties and two mortgages freaked me out. But Shawna’s spreadsheets were very convincing. (You should see her spreadsheets. She’s an Excel Wizard.)
So we went for it, and it turned out to be incredibly prescient. We never could have pulled off last year, when I was mostly unemployed, without our rental income.
In short, my wife is amazing. And that’s not just anniversary-time sentimental husband talk. She spends most of the day with four small kids, two who are still in diapers, and still finds time to think up creative projects for the boys and dream about the future. I hardly think about money, because Shawna keeps a meticulous budget and can provide our financial forecast for the next three years or so. (With spreadsheets, of course.) She even likes plumbing. She doesn’t just repair toilets and install sinks – she enjoys the challenge. I bought her a pipe wrench once and she was genuinely pleased. I am one incredibly lucky guy, and I probably don’t tell her that enough.